Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 21 June 2004

Civil Partnership Bill - a good thing, but it has some serious defects ...

... yes, pensions are boring, but it is essential to know where you stand. I've written about this subject before, but it bears repeating and this excellent article lays it all out very clearly. Basically, the Civil Partnership Bill currently going through Parliament will grant a pension to surviving same-sex partners calculated only from the date the bill becomes law - even if pension contributions had been made for years (or decades) prior to this. The linked article debunks very effectively the spurious claims that it would cost too much to backdate benefit to the date contributions commenced; it points out that most pension schemes are designed on the assumption that employees will marry and be liable to pay widow's benefits (in more recent years, widower's benefits too).

When the government announced the bill, it sounded good - and indeed it mostly is - but the impression was given that same-sex partners would benefit from the same rights, in terms of property and other rights, which have always applied to married couples. The bill as published clearly shows that, in some important respects, this is simply not true.

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